About six weeks ago, I wrote, with my colleagues here at Pythian, an open letter to Larry Ellison, imploring him and Oracle to free API-level access to Automated Workload Repository (AWR) and Active Session History (ASH).
This letter has received amazing support from the community, with 158 “signatories” at last count, and many other positive comments.
We received an informal but cordial response from Oracle two or three days after we couriered the letter to them, which said we could expect a formal reply soon.
Sadly, I think the official response was delivered a couple nights ago, with the public release of the Oracle 11g documentation, specifically, “OracleÂ® Database Licensing Information 11g Release 1 (11.1).” I advise you to read it yourselves, so you can be sure you get the correct information, but I believe that in the section on Diagnostic Pack, we see roughly the same statements as before — API-level access to AWR and ASH continues to require licenses for Diagnostic Pack.
I have only skimmed the entire document; being a slow reader, I’ll need to spend a few hours to read it all. I have noted at least one encouraging item, though. It seems that Oracle has at least provided customers with a means of disabling the AWR features that they cannot or choose not to license.
That is an improvement. Just not the one we had hoped for. That being said, it’ll never be too late for Oracle to do the right thing. And so, dear readers visiting from Oracle, take another look at the comments and signatures again and please re-consider.
I found today’s comment from an employee of a major transnational energy company to be particularly instructive regarding the downside of Oracle’s current strategy. In it, Carl Roberts writes:
…due to these and a few other licensing practises by Oracle we … have made SQL Server our strategic platform.
Sometimes, good tactics can be bad strategy. The signatories and I strongly believe that this is one of those times.